Cast Announced for Toronto Premiere of BRIGHT STAR

Bright Star is about successful literary editor, Alice Murphy, who confronts her past after meeting an ambitious young soldier just home from World War II.

By: Jul. 25, 2022
Cast Announced for Toronto Premiere of BRIGHT STAR
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Cast Announced for Toronto Premiere of BRIGHT STAR

Today, Garner Theatre Productions released its highly anticipated cast list for this summer's upcoming Actor-Musician workshop of Bright Star, the Tony nominated bluegrass musical written and composed by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. This will be the first Toronto production of the Broadway musical, which will be staged as an Actor-Musician show, with all cast members on stage doubling as the band. GTP is Canada's only theatre company that focuses solely on Actor-Musician productions.

Bright Star is about successful literary editor, Alice Murphy, who confronts her past after meeting an ambitious young soldier just home from World War II. Together they discover a stunning secret with the power to transform their lives.

"When we launched GTP, we knew that we wanted to connect with our audiences not only through the beauty of the music, but also with thought-provoking stories that spark dialogue and truly leave people with something to ponder. Bright Star is based on a true story and is the perfect choice for our first production. The show has so much heart and the music can't help but fill your soul," said Donna Garner, GTP Artistic Director.

"As Actor-Musicians, we embody the characters we play in every way - through spoken text, singing, and the emotion coming from the instruments we are playing. Bright Star's bluegrass roots offer us the kind of instruments that beautifully mirror the journeys of the characters - fiddles, banjos, guitars, basses, mandolins. All this combined with the percussive elements of Andrew Prashad's choreography will create a beautiful musical fusion, from the moments of the deepest sadness to those highest moments of great joy. I truly can't wait to play with this team."

Bright Star won the 2018 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music. GTP's interpretation of Bright Star will highlight this incredible music through Actor-Musicians who do it all - act the roles, sing the songs and play the instruments simultaneously. Bright Star features Kaylee Harwood (Broadway's Jesus Christ Superstar and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical National Tour) as Alice Murphy and Andrew Prashad (One Step at a Time at the Stratford Festival and Shaw Festival's Holiday Inn) as Jimmy Ray Dobbs, alongside a company of veteran Actor- Musicians. Introducing the complete GTP Bright Star workshop cast:

Alice Murphy - Kaylee Harwood

Jimmy Ray Dobbs - Andrew Prashad

Mayor Dobbs - Sandy Crawley
Billy Cane - Nick Dolan

Florence/Government Clerk - Rita Dottor

Mama Murphy - Donna Garner

Daryl Ames/ Dr. Norquist - Jonathan Gysbers

Daddy Cane/Stanford - Andrew Legg

Edna/Well-Dressed Woman - Dominique LeBlanc

Daddy Murphy/Max - Marty Lindquist

Lucy - Marie Mahabal

Margo - Yunike Soedarmasto

Joining the Bright Star cast is the dedicated creative and production team, which includes Jacob Wolstencroft (Director), Donna Garner (Musical Director), Andrew Prashad (Choreographer), Anna Kaltenbach (Stage Manager), Rachel Lambe (Company Manager) and Tricia Soltys (Producer).

"I could not be more excited by the cast we have assembled for Bright Star. The outpouring of support and interest in this workshop extended across Canada, making it possible for us to bring together a company of artists who are not only incredible actors, but truly brilliant musicians. There is a beautiful balance of new talent and seasoned professionals. I cannot wait to have all twelve of them making music and playing this gorgeous score together. That will be something special to experience," said Jacob Wolstencroft, Bright Star Director.

Wolstencroft adds that in the audition process "it was wonderfully overwhelming to see how people were just as excited about this show as we are. Bright Star celebrates community coming together, and after the past few years, I can't think of a more perfect show to be bringing to Toronto audiences."

Actor-Musician shows bring a unique level of complexity to each performance. Bright Star will feature an onstage cast of 12 performers and over 20 instruments. "We will add the very stylized element of incorporating playing instruments with the acting, singing and choreography. The creative learnings we gain from this workshop will set the foundation for the first full-scale Toronto production of Bright Star, planned for late 2023," added Garner.

Bright Star's public presentations of the workshop will take place August 25 & 26. Garner Theatre Productions strives to make theatre for all people and tickets will be available as Pay What You Can Afford admission. Audiences will be invited to select from one of four set admission prices to best suit their circumstance ($10, $25, $50, $75). For more information on GTP and Bright Star, please visit www.garnertheatreproductions.com




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